THIRD-YEARS AT THE BAR
Alicia: "To Cary! Welcome back to the dark side!"
Cary: "To Alicia, for getting a judge off today! Or at least out of the penalty box."
Alicia: "I sometimes feel like I don't understand the law, or what the fuck I am doing."
She played every trick in the Season Three book, from fake laughing to finger-pointing to witness-shaming. She did a great job. Without even lying, really. And now Cary's here, happy to be here with Alicia Florrick, talking her through her moral crisis when he's one of the few people that even noticed it was going on, and something she would still not quite comprehend is that he can only trust her now that he's seen her struggling, because St. Alicia was so very virtuous that he could never trust her at all. But this time, all this time she's been visiting him at the SA and worrying about him, bringing him into the firm again: It's because they're friends, and he can trust that because he knows she's just as dirty as he is. Or he's become just as clean.
Cary: "You're helping people."
Alicia: "Ugh, like that judge? Was he innocent? Do I know? Do I even care anymore?"
Because that's the real trick, the thing that all the ratfucking lawyers in the world will never be able to explain to you: That any illusions you have about your cleanliness don't matter. Not because they're not true, not because there's not an objective morality or at least a legal system designed to approximate one, but because you're asking the wrong question. If we're all the same amount of dirty, then we're all the same amount of clean.
And anybody who tries to sell you another way to do that math is working on a way to control you. Whether it's about sluts or fags, whether it's about campaign politics or campaign contributions, whether it's about social welfare or social Darwinism: If we're all the same amount of dirty, then we're all the same amount of clean. And all you have to do to find that small measure of grace is to give up the holy image of yourself.
Cary: "I haven't learned a damn thing since I left L/G. I am as dumb now as I was out of law school."
Alicia: "What's to learn?"
Cary: "That people lie. And the people who judge, they lie the most."